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The Henselmans PT Course Certification

Comprehensive, science-based fitness education taught by Menno Henselmans

  • Everything you need to know to advance or start your career as a Personal Trainer and Online Coach.
  • Updated weekly with the latest exercise and nutrition science.
  • Achieve optimal fat loss, muscle growth, strength development and program adherence for yourself and your clients.

The next course will start February 2025. Sign up for the pre-sale to get notified when the next course opens up for registrations.

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You may know Menno Henselmans from:

Men's Health

Science-based and up-to-date

Are you looking for robust, evidence-based information?

The Henselmans PT Course will teach you how to become an evidence-based fitness professional. All of the materials in the course are supported with hyperlinks to the scientific articles, just like in the articles on this site but better.

Thanks to our online format, we can keep the course updated weekly with the latest scientific findings, and even some yet unpublished data from our research team. You won't be learning from a textbook written 5 years ago.

"I have never taken a course that used so much science and research to back up all of their advice. Everything taught is backed not only by 100s of research studies but also be 100s of clients and personal examples. Amazing course."

- Devin Ford - Owner performafuelnutrition.com, 15th ranked CrossFitter in the world

"I found the Henselmans PT course to be exceptional. The vast amount of science based and researched information presented by Menno in the course was above and beyond what one would expect."

Dr. Larry Feinman, DC, CSCS

Learn from Menno Henselmans directly

You will learn Menno's full coaching approach

The course costs $80 less than Menno's hourly consultation rate (299 USD) and Menno will answer all of your questions in the discussion group and live Q&A sessions.

Menno will host multiple live video Q&A sessions. If you have a personal and private question, such as private medical questions, you can email Menno directly.

You will learn Menno's full coaching approach

"There’s so much information and Menno manages to be very objective, direct and honest throughout his course. Not showing us merely HIS method, but rather giving us all the information and means to find more information so that we can find our own method."

- Lisa Marie

"I am blown away with Menno’s knowledge and his commitment to this course to help all his students become better at what they do."

- Michal Palus

A complete and extremely comprehensive course

Do you find other courses are lacking, dated or missing depth?

We cover more than most courses. This course will take you from the basics to expert level knowledge.

You will learn everything you need to help others lose fat, build muscle and live a healthier lifestyle. We’ll also extensively go into food choices for optimal health, diet adherence and many more niche topics: contest prep, tanning, sleep optimization, stress management, getting rid of acne, pregnancy and much more.

Check out the table of contents.

Complete and comprehensive Personal Trainer Course

"The Henselmans PT Course is one of the, if not the, most comprehensive and scientifically up-to-date bodies of knowledge in the fitness industry today [...] It is highly recommended for all trainers, coaches, and athletes who are truly serious in their craft."

- Noel Blanco - Personal Trainer

Advance or kick-start your career as a Personal Trainer and Online Coach

You will learn how to apply the science for maximum real-life results in your clients. With our PT toolkits, ready-to-send client guides and case studies, you'll be ready to help any client achieve their goals.

Learn the psychology of how to get your clients to stick to their programs

Pregnant or elderly clients, powerlifters, physique competitors, we cover it all.

We also teach you how to do your own research and set up your (online) business with data-driven marketing techniques.

Many of our students have done multiple courses and say it's the most valuable investment in their career as a personal trainer.

Read their in depth reviews here to see how the Henselmans PT Course compares to other courses. You can also find us on Trustpilot.

Official certification

If you pass the online exam at the end of the 10-month course, you become an official Henselmans Certified Personal Trainer. You'll receive a physical certificate via First Class Royal Mail.


You can legally work with this as a Personal Trainer and Online Coach in most countries.

Menno Henselmans

About the founder and course host

A former business consultant specialized in advanced statistical data analysis, the best decision of my life was trading my company car to follow my passion in fitness.

I now help serious strength trainees get the most out of their physique with my online coaching, international public speaking events and scientific publications.
  • BSc magna cum laude, MSc with distinction
  • MPA Award winning model & WBFF Fitness Model Competitor
  • International public speaker for i.a. BodyPower, the Norwegian Academy for Personal Training (AFPT) and the Oxford and Cambridge Alumni Association
  • Review author in Sports Medicine, the highest impact factor journal in exercise science & peer-reviewer for the Journal of Human Kinetics
  • Board member of the Institute of Nutrition and Fitness Sciences (INFS), India, and FitZonderFabels, the Netherlands

How does the course work?

Watch this short introduction to the course by Menno Henselmans

Every week we will post one or several modules of the course in the course group. In the comments below this post we will discuss that module during the week. 

To roughly summarize the course, the first part of the course deals with nutrition, the second part with exercise science and then several miscellaneous topics are discussed.

The course is fully online, flexible and part-time, so you can follow it alongside your work or studies.

Download the PDF now to see an overview of all course contents and learn more about how the course works.

Table of contents

Looking to advance and broaden your knowledge?

We cover more than most courses. In 10 months we cover everything from A to Z, in great detail.

To roughly summarize the course, the first part of the course deals with nutrition, the second part with exercise science and then several miscellaneous topics are discussed.

Week 1: How to study and do your own research

How to study and do your own research

  • How to improve your reading comprehension and retention
  • How to find and read scientific papers
  • Understanding statistics
  • Improving your logical reasoning skills

Biochemistry 101 

  • How the body produces energy from proteins, carbohydrates and fats

Week 2 & 3: Human Metabolism and Optimizing energy intake

Human metabolism

  • What is energy? Thermodynamics and energy balance
  • Components of energy expenditure, refeeds, set-point theory, metabolic damage, adaptive thermogenesis, reverse dieting and the yo-yo effect

Optimizing energy intake

  • Cutting, bulking and body recomposition
  • How to optimize nutrient partitioning
  • How to estimate body fat percentage
  • Macro tracking: common pitfalls
  • How to measure progression and body composition

Week 4 & 5: Protein requirements and protein timing

Protein requirements

  • Protein quality
  • Vegetarians & vegans
  • Gender, PEDs, training volume
  • Surplus vs. deficit

Protein timing

  • Protein absorption limits
  • The anabolic window, fasted training & workout nutrition
  • Protein synching
  • Meal frequency

Week 6: Carbohydrates


  • Types: simple vs. complex, GI, GL, II, fructose
  • Requirements per type of exercise
  • Carbohydrate timing
  • Effects on muscle growth
  • Dietary fiber
  • Carbohydrate tolerance

Week 7: Dietary fat

Live video Q&A on the macronutrients

Dietary fat

  • Types: lipids, triglycerides, fatty acids
  • Health effects and functions of the different fatty acids
  • Cholesterol metabolism, health effects and optimal dietary intake
  • Brown fat
  • Effects on hormone production
  • Optimal intake for muscle growth

Week 8: Ketogenic dieting

Ketogenic dieting

  • Ketosis levels, starvation mode and net carbohydrate intakes
  • Keto-adaptation and the keto flu
  • Effects on health, metabolism, appetite, performance and protein balance
  • Cyclical and targeted ketogenic dieting
  • Measuring ketosis
  • MCTs and exogenous ketones
  • Who is it for? Indications and contraindications

Week 9: Fasting and circadian rhythm effects

Fasting and circadian rhythm effects

  • Intermittent fasting & alternate day fasting
  • Protein sparing modified fasting (PSMF)
  • Circadian rhythm effects: timing considerations for the macronutrients
  • Carb backloading
  • Interaction effects between carbs and fats

Week 10: Lifestyle factors

Lifestyle factors

  • Circadian rhythm control
  • How to optimize sleep quality
  • How to manage stress
  • How to effortlessly increase your activity level

Week 11: Beyond macros: micronutrition

Beyond macros: micronutrition
  • Likely deficiencies
  • Bloodwork
  • Multivitamins: problems and benefits
  • The functions of each micronutrient related to fat loss, muscle growth and performance
  • How to fill in your micros

Week 12 & 13: Health science and food choices

Health science and food choices

  • What makes a diet healthy?
  • Effects of food processing: heating, freezing, blending
  • Organic, wild and grass-fed
  • Low calorie sweeteners, sugar and dietary fiber
  • Food choices for health and anabolism: Meat, fish, poultry, dairy, eggs, grains, wheat, gluten, soy, coffee, fruits, vegetables, chocolate, coconut, nuts and alcohol
  • Detox diets
  • FODMAPs and digestive health
  • How to recover from illness

Week 14: Ad libitum dieting: how to lose fat and gain muscle without tracking your macros

Ad libitum dieting: how to lose fat and gain muscle without tracking your macros

  • Hunger management strategies
  • Physiological vs. psychological regulation of hunger: eating speed, social effects, decision fatigue, sensory-specificity, portion size, biorhythm effects, exercise, sleep, body composition, palatability, meal frequency, sweeteners

Week 15: Contest prep & peak week 

Contest prep and the peak week

  • Physique sports divisions 
  • Carbloading
  • Electrolyte manipulation
  • Diuretics and water cutting
  • ‘Shitloading’
  • Posing

Week 16: Beauty

Beauty (optional)

  • Acne 
  • Tanning
  • Cellulite
  • Hair loss
  • Dandruff

Week 17: Supplements

Supplements: a complete guide to every supplement worth knowing

Week 18: Hormones and performance enhancing drugs

Hormones and performance enhancing drugs

  • Gender-specific regulation of sex hormones
  • Interpreting bloodwork
  • AAS: risk-reward and how to manage the side-effects

Week 19: Nutrition case studies

Nutrition case studies

Live video Q&A

Week 20: Muscle anatomy & understanding muscle growth and strength

Muscle anatomy and contraction

Understanding muscle growth & strength

  • Mechanisms of muscle growth
  • Systemic and local growth regulation: structural balance theory
  • Strength vs. size & functional training

Week 21: Cardio for fat loss

Cardio for fat loss

  • The fat burning zone
  • Fasted cardio
  • Estimating energy expenditure per activity
  • NEAT compensation
  • EPOC
  • How to mitigate the interference effect
  • HIIT vs. LISS

Week 22: Program design fundamentals

Program design fundamentals 

Training intensity

  • Effects on fatigue, connective tissue and the nervous system
  • Strength vs. size
  •  The muscle-specific hypertrophy method

Training volume

  • How to estimate recovery capacity
  • Optimizing and individualizing training volume

Training frequency

  • Interaction with volume
  • Effects on recovery capacity
  • How often should you train each muscle and exercise?

Week 23: Program customization

Program customization

  • DNA testing
  • Maximum muscular potential and muscular balance
  • Work capacity

Week 24: Fitness for women

Fitness for women

  • Sex differences
  • Contraception
  • Pregnancy
  • Menstrual periodization
  • Breast implants

Week 25: Program design for the elderly and youth

Program design for the elderly and youth

  • Sarcopenia
  • Anabolic resistance

Week 26: Muscle functional anatomy: a visual guide

Muscle functional anatomy: a visual guide

  • Ab training and spot reduction
  • What each muscle does and how to train it
  • Ab training and spot reduction

Week 27 & 28: Exercise selection

Exercise selection

  • What makes an exercise effective for muscle growth?
  • Free weights vs. machines
  • Compound vs. isolation exercises
  • Accommodating resistance, bands and chains
  • Recommended exercises and technique guide
  • Counting volume: how much does a certain exercise stimulate a certain muscle?
  • Functional differentiation and exercise variety

Week 29: Exercise technique & cueing

Exercise technique & cueing

  • What is ‘good technique’?
  • The mind-muscle connection
  • Strength vs. size
  • Repetition tempo

Repetition tempo

Week 30: How to structure your workouts

Live video Q&A: training program design

How to structure your workouts

  • Rest intervals
  • Active recovery
  • Exercise ordering
  • Circuit training, supersets, paired sets and more

Week 31: Periodization and progression

Periodization and progression

  • Progressive overload and progression models
  • What is fatigue?
  • Cybernetic/autoregulatory, undulating and linear periodization
  • Benchmarking and autoregulation
  • Overtraining, overreaching and deloading

Week 32: Training to failure & advanced strength training techniques

Training to failure

Advanced strength training techniques

  • Forced reps and drop sets
  • RPEs and velocity monitoring
  • Reverse pyramiding, cluster sets and myo-reps
  • Weighted stretching
  • Eccentric overloading
  • Post-activation potentiation
  • KAATSU/blood flow restriction training
  • Breathing techniques

Week 33 & 34: Stretching, postural correction, warming up & injury management


Postural correction

Warming up

Injury management

  • Pain science
  • Ice vs. heat, NSAIDs and RICE
  • Rehabilitative tools & equipment
  • Foam rolling and massage
  • Chiropractic & alternative medicine
  • Common injuries of each body part and how to treat them

Week 35: Training gear

Training gear

  • Weightlifting belts
  • Footwear: what to wear in the gym
  • Knee wraps
  • Lifting straps

Week 36: Powerlifting


  • Strength vs. size program design
  • Peaking & tapering
  • Powerlifting technique
  • Selecting a competition

Week 37: Training program case studies & Live Q&A

Training program case studies

Live video Q&A

Week 38: The psychology of how to stick to your diet and exercise program

Adherence: the psychology of how to stick to your diet and exercise program

  • Psychological effects of nutrition
  • Willpower
  • The psychology of coaching
  • Blood sugar
  • Calorie cycling
  • Goal setting
  • Cheat meals
  • Diet breaks
  • Social eating events
  • How to deal with social pressure
  • Food cravings
  • Flexible dieting and meal planning
  • Assessing client adherence and motivation

Week 39: How to create a successful PT business



Sales & client communication

Week 40: Exam preparation time - Henselmans PT Course

Exam preparation time with open Q&A

Live video Q&A

11 & 12 January 2025: Exam

Show off your hard earned skills. 

If you pass the online exam at the end of the 10-month course, you become an official Henselmans Certified Personal Trainer. You'll receive a physical certificate via First Class Royal Mail.

It’s an open-book exam that takes place via online software also used by Yale University. The Latin Honors system is used for grading and this will be printed on your hard-copy certificate.

Click here for more info about the exam.

Supported by science, tested in the trenches

We make sure you can apply the theory in multiple ways.

  • You'll see real-world case studies of Menno's client, including international level competitors.
  • Video lectures with the most important points will aid your learning journey.
  • Complicated theoretical sections are followed by practical take-home messages.
  • You'll get a PT Toolkit to do the more complicated math for you.
  • You'll get ready-to-send guides for various topics to send to your clients.
  • Over the course you'll learn to build a full program step by step

"With a high focus on the practical application, the course will also guide you through the most important part of a PT job - the practical approach."

- Cosmin Tanase

Extensive exercise library

You'll learn the correct exercise technique for any exercise you should ever need, along with a written description and at least one video per exercise that you can directly send to your clients to teach them.

Build your business

Looking to start or further a (online) fitness business of your own?

Learn to market and sell your services intelligently to get more clients for higher prices.

We show you how every step of the way, from client acquisition, advertising, email marketing, social media to long-term relationship management.

Learn how to coach online. Work from anywhere, at any time and gain more time and freedom. 


PT Toolkit

We provide you with easy guides and spreadsheet calculators to save time on program design.

Examples include a calculator to estimate a client's genetic potential and muscular balance and a guide on how to deal with social eating events you can directly send to your clients, or use yourself.

Join the alumni network

Your business will also be featured in our directory of active Henselmans Certified PTs.

After the course, you'll gain access to the alumni community to network with hundreds of like-minded people.

Discounts for alumni

Henselmans PT Course Alumni Benefits

As an Alumni you will get large discounts for other evidence-based products and services.

  • Renaissance Periodization store
  • BioLayne store
  • MASS research review
  • Examine+

Cut through all the noise on the internet

Learn what works based on science and real client results.


Check out hundreds of uncencored reviews on our review pageFacebook and Trustpilot.

"Menno's course is the best money you can spend in your life and not just if you want to become a PT. He will educate you not only about training and nutrition but also psychology. Menno is always available to answer all your questions. He is passionate about this and he gives you 10x value more than what you pay for it.

I am currently recommending this to all my friends!"

- Dr. Alessandro Ferrari, PhD in biochemistry, PT and author at Thebroscientist.com

"If you are looking to get huge value for your money, obtain an insane amount of practical knowledge in a short time and learn the exact tools on how to get clients progressing at their maximal potential, then this is the course you're looking for!

Want to take your PT game straight to professional levels? Stop wasting time and take this damn course! You'll thank yourself later down the road for saving you years of frustration, time and money. Seriously, the things you learn here will last you a lifetime."

- Lars Desmet, Personal trainer, competitive powerlifter and owner of Lars Desmet PT

"The depth of the material goes beyond anything you will find in the current literature or typical PT courses offered.

If you are at all interested in furthering your knowledge with an evidence based approach.You don’t want to miss out on this opportunity!"

- Børge A. Fagerli, Creator of Myo-reps & the Biorythym Diet, Owner of borgefagerli.com

Joe Flaherty Henselmans PT course review

"You don't simply get a few bullet points that say "do this, don't do that" each week; when you finish a unit, you know exactly what to tailor in a given context, and you have the ammo to confidently explain to you client (or fellow bro) why you're doing what you're doing.

If you have any hesitations about taking this course: don't. You will not be disappointed, and your clients (and your own physique!) will be forever grateful. 5 stars doesn't do it justice!""

- Joe Flaherty, Certified Henselmans PT, owner of tailer-madefitness.com

"The Henselmans PT course is really in a class of its own. The course materials, open dialogue, and design are fantastic. I find myself going back to the course documents quite often to refresh my memory. From macros to food choices to supplements the Henselmans PT course has everything you need.

My most recent cut has been infinitely easier thanks to some of the things I learned during the PT course."

- Matthew van Shellenbeck, CPA

“Having been in the fitness industry for 10 years, the Henselmans PT Course has been by far the best course I have completed, both for quality and quantity of information and value for money.

I would (and have) highly recommend this course to any trainers in the fitness industry. I feel my knowledge has increased drastically, but more importantly, my ability to think critically and apply the information has improved markedly too.

Menno is a fantastic educator and I am looking forward to doing this course again next time.”

- Paul Stevenson, Personal trainer

No-results-money-back guarantee

98% of our students are satisfied, but if you don't agree with them, you can quit the course.

You can choose to leave the training group and course and stop your payment. You then only have to pay for the months for which you received course materials, rounded up to at least 1 month's payment.

If after successfully graduating from the course, you feel you haven't become a better coach or you haven't learned anything, we'll give you a full refund. Just tell our administration and you'll get all your money back. You'll stay certified.




  • Payment options include paying monthly in 10 installments, or upfront via credit card or bank transfer. Payments start on the date you sign up.
  • Don't agree with the 98% satisfied students? You can leave the course at any time and stop paying (see the exact terms above).
  • Enroll with 3+ PTs of the same gym and you all get a $400,00 discount. Bigger group discounts are negotiable via Info@MennoHenselmans.com
  • Tip: declare the course as a business expense and save a lot of tax money.


$2190 1999 USD

Pay in full and save $191,00

Course + Mentoring

599 USD / month

full course plus mentorship via monthly video call

Limited to 10 spots. See details.

Monthly payments

219 USD / month

10 monthly interest free payments

Scholarships for top students from less-affluent countries

Our mission is to spread evidence-based fitness education around the whole world, but exchange rates and international differences in purchasing power can be prohibitive for some. We therefore bestow up to 10 scholarships per course with discounts of 50% to top students from countries with nominal GDP per capita rates below the global average . 

Eligibility criteria:

  • You email us (Info@MennoHenselmans.com) why you believe you merit this scholarship. Particular emphasis is placed on fluent English, good grades and a passion for evidence-based fitness.
  • Your official residence, bank and IP address are all from one of the following countries. Required documents to attach: proof of residence and official ID document.

Click here to see the eligible countries

When does the next course start?

The next course will start on 14 February 2025

Sign up for the pre-sale list below to get notified when the next course opens up for registrations.

We will send you more information once you can enroll for the course.

We have limited spots. Secure your spot now by signing up for the waiting list.

Frequently asked questions

Can I legally work with this certification?

Yes, you can work with our certification in most countries as a personal trainer or online coach, including the United States, Canada and the Netherlands. For information on specific countries, you can email us at Info@MennoHenselmans.com.

Can I speak to someone about the course?

Sure. You can chat with us on WhatsApp, or email us at info@mennohenselmans.com

Now isn't the right time for me. When does the next course start?

The course starts roughly once a year. The next courses will start on 15 March 2024 and 31 January 2025.

We will update this page once the next date is known, but the best way to stay up-to-date is to sign up for the presale list. We will send you more information once you can enroll for the course. You will be able to enroll before anyone else.

What's the price of the course?

If you pay in full for the entire course you will pay $1999. You can also choose our monthly payment plan and pay in 10 monthly payments of $219,- a month. 

How does the exam work?

The exam is conducted online at the end of the course and consists of an open-book exam, exercise technique checks and 2 case studies. The pass rate is ~97%.

For details,
download the course outline.

What grade do I need to pass the exam?

After the exam, we’ll anonymously grade all the answers and you get a Latin grade based on your percentage of points achieved from the possible total assigned:

  • 0-49%: fail
  • 50-79%: pass
  • 80-84%: cum laude
  • 85-94%: magna cum laude
  • 95-100%: summa cum laude

You will also have to submit exercise technique video's. Each exercise technique video with improper form imposes a 25% point penalty. 

The pass rate is ~95%. There are no resists. The passing score of 40% may seem low, but we work with negative grading to offset points achieved by guessing, e.g. a 10-point multiple choice question with 4 options has a 10 / 4 = 2.5-point penalty for wrong answers. So randomly guessing each answer nets you an average expected score of 0% 

How does the payment process work?

You can pay monthly over 10 months or upfront in full (lump sum). We accept payments via credit card, debit card, PayPal, Ideal, Bancontact, Apple pay, Google Pay and bank transfer.

You'll receive an email and invoice from our administration within 72 hours. If you choose bank transfer, your registration will not be official until the funds have been cleared.

Click here to register.

If you have any questions about payments, you can contact us at us at Info@MennoHenselmans.com or chat with us on WhatsApp

How much time will the course require?

The course is designed to be doable part-time, so you can follow it alongside your work or studies. However, it will require a serious time commitment, such as in the evenings or in the weekends.

At a minimum, you should have one free evening per week and multiple days before the exam to review the materials. On average, students tell us they need ~6-8 hours a week for studying. There are dedicated weeks in which you can catch up in case you fall behind.

If you don’t get around to studying all the materials before the exam, you have the option to postpone the exam to the next course round.

Not interested in the certification? Then feel free to work through everything at your own pace.

Do I have to be present at specific times?

No, we have students from all over the world, so all materials can be downloaded and studied at your own convenience, including live sessions and the optional physical meet-up (recording of the relevant parts).

The only hard deadline is the exam at the end, for those that want to get certified.

I'm going on vacation during the course period. Can I still follow the course?

Sure, many people have a holiday sometime during the course. You can follow the course at your own pace. That said, most people have found that they benefit from keeping up with the group.

In principle, it’s exactly like following a part-time online college degree.

I'm unsure about my knowledge. Do I need any minimum education?

No, the course covers every topic from A to Z. Of course, if you don’t know what carbohydrates or repetitions are, you’ll have to invest more time to learn everything than others.

Do I have to be a fitness professional to join the course?

No, many non-professionals have already followed the course purely for the sake of self-improvement and personal education. Take a look at our reviews to see what they have to say. After the course, you can be your own coach!

You don’t even have to take the exam if you don’t care about becoming certified.

Will I keep lifetime access to the material after the course?

Yes, you will keep access to the material. However, because we update the course regularly, some links might not work after a while. We recommend you download all files to your computer or cloud.

I have time now, can I start early or work ahead?

No, the materials are constantly updated based on the latest science and student feedback. They are only finalized just before they are published in the course, so only then can you access them.

We also structured the course deliberately at a certain pace to optimize your educational experience.

Can I get all the material at once?

It's not possible to get all the material at once. 

Will I get lifetime updates?

You will keep access to the course materials from your round. If you'd like access to the updated materials from future rounds you can enroll again and you'll get a major discount: 70% off if you sign up for the very next course or 60% off if you sign up for any course thereafter.

Many students choose to take the course every few rounds to stay up-to-date with the latest science.

What do I get with the mentoring option?

With the mentoring option you will get full course plus a one-on-one video call mentoring session each month. This option is limited to 10 spots. You can pay in 10 monthly payments of $599,-.

The primary time zone will be Amsterdam time in the afternoons and evenings. 

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